SMRH cricket captain Cedric English has urged his side to forget a one wicket pre-season friendly victory at tomorrow’s Eastern Premiership opponents, Heriot’s.
The near neighbours clash at Goldenacre with the length of the fledgling table separating them, but with visitors Stewart’s Melville/Royal High having plenty of cause for optimism.
“The early friendly victory was a boost but it was achieved on a different square to the one we’ll be using tomorrow,” said ex-Scotland star English, who will concentrate on batting only while continuing to recover from a torn bicep.
He added: “Key tomorrow could lie in the fact we are one of the few teams to be able to call on two left-arm seam bowlers to open our attack. Potentially Craig MacKellar and Greig Ruthven compliment each other very well.”
On the last occasion Heriot’s hosted a green wicket saw Forfarshire bowled out for 60.
That could play into the hands of a SMRH side who have Andy Gamble replacing the unavailable Greig Bisset but they have to set aside a galling defeat at Carlton.
“We needed just 70 runs off 90 balls with seven wickets standing. It was gutting to lose in that situation but it underlined the need for consistency” said English.
Heriot’s trump card could be the return of ex-Scotland cap Kevin McLaren after a traumatic injury period summed up by club president Chris Middleton, who said: “Kevin plays his first top team game since the 2012 Scottish Cup Final. Having had knee surgery in the 2012-13 off-season Kevin recuperated in the thirds for part of last season only to suffer a dislocation of his other knee in winter nets this year. Having had it reset and been given the all-clear to return to action, he has scored runs for lower teams and feels ready to return.”
McLaren replaces Steve Knox, who is coaching the German national side, while Sean Weeraratna and Richard Cummins also return.
By way of warm-ups, both teams came through Masterton Trophy ties. SMRH went to Academy Park, Leith, and beat Murrayfield/DAFS by 31 runs, while Heriot’s defeated Edinburgh CC by 86 runs.
At Raeburn Place, Mazars Grange await Watsonians. In seeking to build on victory over Stoneywood Dyce by three wickets the Capital outfit have added Henry Philip, back from Oxford University.
Carlton head for Arbroath with skipper Gordon Drummond wary of a backlash from the champions after their defeat by Falkland last weekend.
Back from Scotland duty against England will be Ally Evans and Preston Mommsen, while exciting times lie ahead for the club’s young spinner, Cheeky Gosein, according to Drummond, who said: “The arrival of Grant Bradburn as Scotland coach with a background in spin bowling at Test and international one-day level is a boost for not only Cheeky but Mark Watt, at Heriot’s, another outstanding prospect.”
Dropping out of the Carlton line-up tomorrow is the unavailable Rory McCann.
In the East Championship Carlton 2 await Murrayfield/DAFS, Edinburgh South host Grange 2, Holy Cross face Glenrothes and Penicuik tackle RH Corstorphine.